(Mar. 5) -- Forget the suspense over best movie or actor or actress the real question on Oscar night was whether Three 6 Mafia could actually perform a cuss-free, non-graphic version of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."
On Sunday night, they proved that they could. In one of the most exciting performances for a best song usually characterized by bland performances of even blander songs the Memphis rap group gave a rousing rendition of their song from "Hustle & Flow," then took the Oscar home to boot.
It wasn't exactly something you'd see on the Source Awards, with the "Fame"-like dancers and choreography. But the performance from the group best known for their raw rhymes about Southern street life stayed true to the gritty essence of the song about a pimp's troubles maintaining his women and his money.
And despite toning down the lyrics, including using "witches" for the b-word, they were still bleeped once during the performance and once during their acceptance speech.
Hey, it's hard out there for pimp, if you didn't know.
It certainly was the most animated performance of the three Oscar-nominated songs on the night and, surprisingly, the least garish.
The latter honor belonged to whoever came up with the staging for "In The Deep" from "Crash." Attempting to recreate one of the most riveting scenes from the movie, the stage was transformed into a triage scene, with a flaming car, wounded victims and other people representing the movie's main characters walking around in slow motion, looking dazed. Bird York, the singer-songwriter nominated for "In the Deep," performed with a glazed look.
The most sedate performance of the evening was Dolly Parton for her inspirational song about acceptance, "Travelin' Through," from "Transamerica."